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Report showing links between meat and poor health
November 1, 2007
Three Articles

Doctors, Dietitians Stand Behind Fat/Cancer Link

Most Physicians Applaud New Report; Meat Groups Oppose Recommendations 

On the 3rd page, it says (in part):

..."In addition to maintaining a healthy body weight, the AICR report urges people to limit their consumption of red meat -- a statement the American Meat Institute has already called 'extreme and unfounded.'

"According to the report, there is evidence that red meat, including beef, pork and lamb, as well as processed meats such as bacon, ham and sausage, significantly increase the risk of colorectal cancer.

"Researchers say for every 1.7 ounces of red meat and processed meat consumed each day, cancer risk increases by 15 percent and 21 percent respectively. Researchers recommend only eating 18 ounces of cooked red meat per week and avoiding processed meat altogether.
Instead of meat, researchers say fruits and vegetables should be the main course, a statement that Doyle agrees with.

"'Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole grains, and limited amounts of red and processed meats,' she said"....

Some of us know about the connection between certain cancers and the consumption of meat/dairy. But it's good to finally hear this message from doctors and dietitians and the AICR.

The last paragraph reminds me of one humanitarian aspect of my aversion toward supplying livestock to people in developing countries. As I've theorized in the past, we're passing along our American diseases to the world's poor without the "benefit" of our American pharmaceuticals and other medical treatments needed to "maintain" those diseases.

"The developed and developing nations alike all face similar problems with obesity, physical inactivity, limited food choices, etc. So I think this report will be seen as an important step towards developing international consensus and collaboration on efforts to reduce chronic diseases through improved nutrition."

The New York Times - October 31, 2007

Report Stresses Link Between Obesity And Cancer


LONDON (Reuters) - Keeping slim is one of the best ways of preventing cancer, as is avoiding excessive amounts of red meat and wine, a landmark study has revealed.

The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) said the link between body fat and cancer is closer than generally realized.

It found convincing evidence of a link to six types of cancer, five more than in its last report, 10 years ago.

Among the new types are colorectal (bowel) and post-menopausal breast cancer.

Professor Michael Marmot, chair of the panel of 21 eminent scientists who compiled the report, said: "We are recommending that people aim to be as lean as possible within the healthy range, and that they avoid weight gain throughout adulthood."

The report, which selected 7,000 studies from a worldwide pool of 500,000 written since records began in the 1960s, includes five key findings.

They are that processed meats, such as ham and bacon, increase the risk of colorectal cancer, and should be eaten sparingly.

Another is the link between red meat and colorectal cancer, for which the evidence is stronger than ever. People should not eat more than 500g of cooked red meat a week -- or between 700g and 750g for "blue" or uncooked meat.

A further finding was the strongest evidence yet that alcohol is a cause of cancer. If people must drink, the report said, they should limit their intake to two units a day for a man or one for a woman. A unit is a half pint of beer or a small glass of wine.

The report recommended mothers breastfeed exclusively for the first six months after birth followed by complementary breastfeeding, after evidence showed breastfeeding protects the mother against breast cancer.

It did not recommend dietary supplements as prevention.

"This report is a real milestone in the fight against cancer, because its recommendations represent the most definitive advice on preventing cancer that has ever been available anywhere in the world," said Professor Martin Wiseman, project director of the report.

Scientists believe there are several reasons for the link between body fat and cancer.

One is the relationship between excess fat and the hormonal balance in the body.

Research has shown that fat cells release hormones such as estrogen, which increases the risk of breast cancer, while fat around the waist encourages the body to produce growth hormones, which can increase levels of risk.

Evidence of a link is most convincing for cancer of the esophagus, pancreas, colorectum, endometrium (womb), kidney and post-menopausal breast cancer.

The report makes 10 recommendations including 30 minutes of moderate activity a day, rising to 60 minutes; drinking water rather than sugary drinks; eating fruit, vegetables and fiber and limiting salt consumption.

The WCRF report can be found at: 

Put down the bacon! Report emphasizes cancer-fat links

There is more evidence than ever that a person who weighs too much is more likely to develop cancer, a landmark report said Wednesday.

And forget eating bacon, sausage and lunchmeat. No amount is considered completely safe, according to the analysis from the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund.

An international panel of experts reviewed more than 7,000 large-scale studies and spent five years developing the report (

Excess body fat increases the risk of cancer of the colon, kidney, pancreas, esophagus and uterus as well as postmenopausal breast cancer, the report says.

READ THE REPORT: No amount of processed meat considered completely safe:

"This was a much larger impact than even the researchers expected," says Karen Collins, a cancer institute nutrition adviser. "People forget body fat is not an inert glob that we are carrying around on the waistline and thighs. It's a metabolically active tissue that produces substances in the body that promote the development of cancer."

Michael Thun, head of epidemiological research for the American Cancer Society, says, "People are not paying nearly enough attention to the relationship between obesity and increased cancer risk." The report also found:

•Every 1.7 ounces of processed meat consumed a day increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 21%.

"This is a wake-up call for people who eat hot dogs or pepperoni pizza regularly," Collins says. "They need to be looking for other alternatives. But you can still occasionally have a hot dog."

There could be several reasons why processed meats may increase cancer risk. Carcinogens have been linked to smoked meat and the nitrates and excess salt in processed meats, Collins says.

•The evidence linking red meat intake (beef, pork and lamb) to colorectal cancer is more convincing than it was a decade ago, the report says. It advises limiting red meat to 18 ounces of cooked meat a week. The cancer risk is minimal for people who eat that amount, but beyond that the risk increases, Collins says.

•Alcohol consumption is linked to an increased risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, larynx, esophagus, breast, colon and liver.

The report is drawing fire from the food industry.

Ceci Snyder, a registered dietitian with the National Pork Board, which represents pork producers, says, "The U.S. Dietary Guidelines include meat and processed meat, and those guidelines are based on a review of the scientific evidence."

Mary Young of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association says the group engaged scientists to review the scientific literature on the topic, and they concluded there is no evidence red meat causes cancer.

A separate survey of 1,022 adults, also released Wednesday by the cancer institute, showed that 39% say cancer is their top health concern and 49% say it's highly unlikely they can do anything to prevent cancer. "Let's not be afraid anymore," Collins says. "There is something you can do about it.

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